SEC Chair Gary Gensler doesn't want to talk about 'crypto securities'

Quick Take

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler didn’t seem like he wanted to talk about crypto on Wednesday after a meeting about the U.S. Treasury market.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler didn't seem like he wanted to talk about crypto on Wednesday after a meeting focused on the U.S. Treasury market, rebuffing a reporter's question about the status of various applications for spot bitcoin ETFs. 

"The $26 trillion Treasury market, which is really the base of our entire capital markets. It's how we fund our government. It's how our Federal Reserve does monetary policy. It's how we maintain the dollar dominance around the globe. And you want to ask me about crypto?" Gensler said in an interview on Bloomberg Television in response to a question about the spot funds. 

"What are your priorities?" he continued. "The U.S. Treasury market is a very consequential, very important market. Crypto securities are not only much smaller, it's not how we fund our government. It's not how we conduct monetary policy. And for many investors, they've been harmed in that market. And they're being harmed because there's too much non-compliance. It's not just non-compliance with securities laws. It's non-compliance with a raft of other laws."

The SEC is currently reviewing more than a dozen applications from asset management giants including BlackRock and Fidelity for what would be the country's first spot bitcoin fund. The price of the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has surged over recent months as analysts speculate that a decision could be getting closer. 

Bitcoin surges amid anticipation 

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Bitcoin BTC +1.10% currently accounts for about $838 billion of the total crypto market capitalization of nearly $1.7 trillion, according to The Block data. Its price rose 4.1% on Wednesday to change hands for $42,802 at 2:45 p.m. ET.

In comments last month, Gensler stayed mum when asked about the ongoing review process for the spot bitcoin finds, saying he didn't want to "pre-judge" the matter. He's previously called the agency's review process a "time-tested" process.

The SEC has been meeting with some of the potential issuers over the past several weeks, hashing out technical details about proposed redemption processes. 


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© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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About Author

Nathan Crooks is the U.S managing editor at The Block, based in Miami. He was previously at Bloomberg News for 12 years, where he helmed coverage of South Florida after roles as a breaking news editor and bureau chief in Caracas, Venezuela. He's interviewed presidents, government ministers and CEOs, and, besides crypto, has covered major news events on the ground from earthquakes to hurricanes to the Chilean mine rescue in 2018. Nathan, a native of Clarion, Pennsylvania, holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, where he completed a specialist in political science, and an MBA from American University in Washington, D.C.

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